January 6, 2005

This Issue
Vol. 24, Issue 17
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• Press Conference Webcast (Requires Microsoft Windows Media Player.)

• Press Release (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

State of School Finance

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Financing Better Schools

FEATURE STORIES
A look at how state policymakers are looking for new and better ways to finance public education.

Financial Evolution Historically, states have focused on how to distribute money equitably across districts, but now, states are asking what it would take to raise all students to state standards.

Making Every Dollar Count Educators face increased pressure not only to make do with the money they have, but also to do more with that money than ever before.

The Bottom Line School finance experts may have refined their models for determining how much it should cost to educate students, but that doesn't mean they always agree on the results.

A Level Playing Field One lawsuit set the Garden State on a bold new path for financing schools in the neediest districts. Several years after the key decisions in the landmark case, the results are still being debated.

Elusive Answers The rising demands on public schools, a fluctuating economy, and successful lawsuits are forcing states to search for new ways to make their tax systems fairer and more reliable.

FINANCE SNAPSHOTS
Overview: No two states finance their public schools exactly alike. The major features of each state's school funding system are highlighted in state-by-state summaries.

State of the States

STATE DATA
Education Week examines how states fare on student achievement, standards and accountability, efforts to improve teacher quality, school climate, and resources.

Overview: State of the States States are putting in place policies to help meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and to improve the conditions in their schools.

Table: Summary of Grades by State

Table: Student Achievement

Table: Standards and Accountability

Table (Web only): Grade-by-Grade State Testing Policies

Table: Efforts to Improve Teacher Quality

Table: School Climate

Table: Resources: Equity

Table: Resources: Spending

Compare State Data

How Education Week Graded the States

Sources and Notes

STATE REPORT CARDS
Education Week grades the states and the District of Columbia in key categories.

Map: State Report Cards (Requires Macromedia Flash Player.)

STATE DATA REPORTS
Reports showing grading-indicator data across key categories for individual states.

Text Index: State Data Reports

Quality Counts is produced with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts.